Dog chat: Holland's Millie has class to slay rivals
We may be in Christmas week but there is no let-up in the tempo on the greyhound tracks, with two major finals to be decided in Dublin.
The hugely successful first running of the Christmas Oaks will come to a conclusion at Shelbourne on Thursday and it really is a race that would do justice to any Irish Oaks final.
Six of the best bitches you could find will battle it out for the €5,000 prize. Graham Holland's Cabra Millie is sure to go off favourite and she is undoubtedly one of the best young bitches seen in a long time.
The opposition comprises Tyrur Mozzletoff, Calling Spice, Priceless Spark, Lemon Velvet and Zaras Princess.
The supporting card will include a Consolation Oaks and a number of open races and should be as strong as many a Saturday programme.
Twenty-four hours later, the Ted Hegarty Marathon final will be run at Harold's Cross, with a really decent field of super stayers doing battle over the testing 1,010-yard distance.
Fastest semi-final winner was the Sally Williams-trained Aero Gaga with a 58.09 run, but there is precious little between any of the six and there must be a strong possibility that reigning champion Slaneyside Havoc will return to winning ways on the night that matters.
Friday's meeting at Harold's Cross will be the last meeting in Dublin until Tuesday, January 3, while racing will resume at Shelbourne on Thursday, January 5.
There will be a virtually all-final card at Limerick on Thursday, though the decider of the Greyhound & Petworld/ Gain Kingdom Derby has had to be deferred until after Christmas.
This was unavoidable after the second semi-final was declared void due to an accident at the traps. It is still a high-profile card and there will a very unusual prize in each race.
As well as the boosted winner's prize, the last dog home will each earn a bag of Formula One greyhound feed.
Waterford's last meeting of the year on Wednesday will feature four finals and the Charisma Blinds Unraced will be of particular interest, with Jim Scully's unbeaten Ardera Fonze the strong favourite after wins in 28.79 and 28.83.
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